From the New York Times bestselling author of Whistling in the Dark comes an unforgettable novel that illuminates the sweet and brittle bonds of family, the tenderness of growing up, the heartbreak of longing for what we’ve lost, and the poignancy of finding love.
FACT: Unbeknownst to eleven-year-old Theresa “Tessie” Finley, she’s in over her head.
PROOF: After hearing a scream and catching a glimpse of a mysterious man carrying a body beneath the flickering streetlights in the cemetery behind her house, Tessie adds solving a murder case to her already quite full to-do list.
Tessie has elected herself president of the crime-stopping Mutual Admiration Society—as if dealing with her “sad madness” over the tragic drowning of her beloved father; showering tender loving care on her “sweet but weird” younger sister, Birdie; and staying on the good side of their hard-edged mother weren’t enough. With partner in crime Charlie “Cue Ball” Garfield, Tessie and Birdie will need to dodge the gossips in their 1950s blue-collar neighborhood—particularly their evil next-door neighbor, Gert Klement, who’d like nothing better than to send the sisters to “homes.” And, of course, there’s the problem of steering clear of the kidnapping murderer if they have any hope of solving the mystery of all mysteries: the mystery of life.
A rich and charming tour de force, The Mutual Admiration Society showcases Lesley Kagen’s marvelous storytelling talents. Laced with heartwarming humor and heartbreaking grief, this novel is nothing short of magical.
#FirstLine ~ I, Theresa Marie "Tessie" Finley, hereby confess that on the night of October 17th, 1959, instead of keeping my ears to the ground and my eyes peeled for suspicious goings-on in our neighborhood, the way I swore to do on the Holy Bible, I screwed up really bad.
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When I think Kagen cannot get any better, she goes off and writes another story that knocks my socks off. I feel I need to warn you that once you start reading you will keep reading and ignore everything and everyone around you!!! Be prepared to stay up well past your bedtimes.
Now onto the review... Kagen allows us the pleasure to hang out with the Finley sisters once again and that alone makes my heart smile. Then you add in her ability to capture child-like innocence, wisdom and curiosity with a story that has huge heart, humor and dialogue that will leave you with the feels. There is something about the way Kagen writes that makes you feel at home. The characters are lovable and I feel privileged to be allowed to be on this grand adventure as the Mutual Admiration Society try to solve a suspected murder. This mystery is sheer genius and made me want more! I seldom reread a book, but this one will definitely go back into circulation! A must read for all... 5 HUGE stars
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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd